General Contact Information

  • Media Relations Phone: 410-955-6070
  • Media Relations Email:
  • After Hours & Holidays: 410-955-6070.
    If you are a journalist working on a tight deadline or if this is an afterhours, urgent request, you can call this number and ask the operator to page the media relations representative on-call.

Journalists should always work with our team first to coordinate interviews. Each team member represents several departments or specialties of medicine and is available to respond to media inquiries or interview requests in a timely manner. If you are a journalist and unsure which specialty would be most appropriate for your request, please send an inquiry to Thank you.

To review our protocol on providing patient condition updates please reference this page.

Public Relations, Media Relations and Corporate Communications Team

headshot of Danielle Caci

Danielle Caci

Public Relations Manager, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg, Fla.
office: 727-767-2897

Danielle Caci is the public-relations manager at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. She leads a team of PR and social media specialists and works with local and national news organizations to share stories about pediatric patients, their families and staff at the hospital.

Before moving into public relations, Danielle was an anchor and reporter for three years at WTVA/WLOV, the NBC and Fox affiliate in Tupelo, Miss., and she also worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor at WBBH/WZVN, the NBC and ABC affiliate in Ft. Myers, Fla. She covered everything from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill's effect on Southwest Florida, the 2008 presidential debate in Mississippi, devastating tornadoes and other breaking news, even picking up a few awards from the Associated Press.

Danielle received a bachelor's degree in radio-TV, with a specialization in broadcast journalism, from the University of Central Florida.

Beats Covered

  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
headshot of Kristen Crocker

Kristen Crocker

office: 410-955-6681
cell: 443-905-9581

Kristen is a senior communications specialist who joined the public relations, media relations, and corporate communications team in April 2022. In this role, she supports the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s various research, academic and programmatic activities. She also coordinates with news organizations to share stories from various other areas of focus within Johns Hopkins.

Before joining Johns Hopkins, Kristen served in the nonprofit and U.S. government spheres, including with the American College Health Association and the U.S. Department of State. In her past roles, she has led writing and editing efforts for multiple newsletters and outlets, participated in community advocacy, and assisted with event management.

Kristen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with bachelor’s degrees in life sciences communication and genetics.

Beats Covered

  • Geriatrics/Aging
  • Gynecology/Obstetrics
Cassidy Davis

Cassidy Davis

office: 410-955-6681
cell: 806-204-0260

Cassidy Davis serves as a communication specialist on the Johns Hopkins Medicine public relations, media relations and corporate communications team. In this role, she promotes achievements and research conducted at Johns Hopkins while raising brand awareness.

Before joining Johns Hopkins, Cassidy worked in the book publishing industry as a marketing associate, freelance copywriter and content creator. Before that, Cassidy worked with literary magazines, small presses, editorial firms and universities throughout Texas and Boston. In previous positions, Cassidy organized and managed comprehensive PR and marketing campaigns, tour and publication strategies.

Cassidy earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in creative and professional writing from Lubbock Christian University. She also earned a master’s degree in publishing and writing from Emerson College.

Beats Covered

  • Branding, Third Party Releases/Use of Name
  • Cameras on Campus
  • Pharmacy
  • Supply Chain
  • Telemedicine
Caslon Hatch

Caslon Hatch

office: 410-955-6681
cell: 515-556-2586
Caslon Hatch joined the public relations, media relations and corporate communications team in July 2021 as senior communications specialist. In her role, she promotes research conducted at Johns Hopkins and coordinates with local and national news organizations to share stories across multiple service lines.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Caslon was a reporter, producer and anchor for more than six years, spending a majority of her career at KTUU-TV in Anchorage, Alaska. There, she received two Edward R. Murrow awards, various Alaska press recognitions and several regional Emmy nominations. She’s also served as communications director for the Iowa region of the American Red Cross and worked in media relations at the Defense Health Agency.

Caslon grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

Beats Covered

  • Cardiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Nephrology/Kidney Disease
  • Otolaryngology
headshot of Helen Jones

Helen Jones

office: 410-502-9422

Helen Jones joined the Johns Hopkins public relations, media relations, and corporate communications team in January 2013. Among her duties as a media relations specialist are aiding in the distribution and tracking of press releases, collecting and disseminating daily news about Johns Hopkins Medicine, compiling monthly reports, managing media requests and providing media services to physicians and researchers.

Helen was previously employed at the Washington Post, where she edited opinion pieces, editorials and letters to the editor and helped keep track of daily readership trends on the Web. Before that, she worked as a copy editor and assigning editor for her hometown newspaper, the Baltimore Sun.

She received a bachelor's degree in mass communications from Towson University.

Beats Covered

  • Photo/Video Use/Permissions
  • Women’s Board
Maura Kinney

Maura Kinney

office: 410-955-6681
cell: 202-957-3553

Maura Kinney serves as a communication specialist on the Johns Hopkins Medicine public relations, media relations and corporate communications team. In this role, she develops written materials for various external brand channels, conducts media relations to advance awareness of Johns Hopkins’ achievements, and assists in planning and implementing media relations events.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Maura was a technical writer/editor for Ravenswood Solutions, where she translated complex engineering information into simplified language for product users. Before then, she served as a communication manager for Saab, leading the editorial process for all of the company’s North American digital communication efforts. Earlier in her career, Maura worked for Edelman and the National Cyber Security Alliance, gaining experience in strategic communication, content management, stakeholder engagement and media relations.

Maura holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Boston University.

Beats Covered

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism
  • Hematology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Orthopaedics
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
headshot of Marisol Martinez

Marisol Martinez, M.A.

office: 443-287-8570

As a senior communications specialist for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Marisol focuses on bilingual (Spanish and English) media relations in Latin America and the Caribbean and international media relations and communications outreach, raising brand awareness and positioning the Johns Hopkins Health System as a destination for complex diagnosis and treatment, and a trusted resource for health information.

A seasoned writer, editor and strategic communications professional, Marisol has more than 15 years of experience creating and executing marketing and communications campaigns. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins Medicine International, she served as senior copywriter at Adworks Corp., a marketing and communications firm in Puerto Rico with various clients in the health care industry.

She holds a master’s degree in communications with a concentration in media writing and a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of the Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico. Marisol also earned a certificate in translation (Spanish-English/English-Spanish) from La Salle University in Philadelphia and has won several Aster Awards.

Beats Covered

  • Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine International (Latin America, Chinese, Caribbean and Middle East media)
  • Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
headshot of Michel Morris

Michel Morris

office: 410-502-9485

As a communications specialist for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Michel promotes community collaborations and covers several clinical beats.

She develops relationships with media personnel, community organizations and agencies to promote JHM’s services and events. Michel also writes website, social media, newsletter and feature content.

Michel is a former journalist who wrote for the Baltimore Sun Media Group and American Farm Publications. Before joining Johns Hopkins, Michel was the Casey Cares Foundation’s communications coordinator. She is a graduate of Salisbury University with a degree in communication arts.

Beats Covered

  • Community Health/Engagement and Health Disparities/Equity
  • Dermatology
  • Diversity Initiatives
  • General Internal Medicine
  • Johns Hopkins Community Physicians
  • Neurology/Neurosurgery
  • Sleep
headshot of Laura Motel

Laura Motel

office: 410-955-1503
cell: 202-329-5359

Laura Motel is a communications specialist with the Johns Hopkins Medicine public relations, media relations, and corporate communications team. In her role, she is responsible for providing strategic communications support to The Johns Hopkins Hospital Department of Nursing.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins Medicine in June 2016, Motel worked as a communications specialist for the Maryland State Department of Education, focusing on communicating the state's education initiatives to internal and external audiences. She also served as a media specialist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where she produced TV and video segments and provided media outreach.

Motel earned an M.A. in journalism and public affairs from American University and a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College.

Beats Covered

  • Nursing
Michael Newman

Michael E. Newman

office: 410-502-9463
cell: 240-602-5365

A seasoned science and medical communicator with expertise in public affairs, journalism and broadcast media, Michael joined the Johns Hopkins Medicine public relations, media relations, and corporate communications team as senior media relations representative in March 2019. In this role, he communicates and promotes the research, clinical advances, service lines and related initiatives for a diverse group of the institute's divisions.

Michael came to Hopkins after 27 years at the federal government's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). At NIST, he served from 1991 to 2007 as director of media relations and then for the next 11 years as senior communications officer.

Prior to NIST, Michael worked as a reporter for the Houston Chronicle, a medical TV writer/producer for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, a features reporter at an NPR affiliate, an ABC-TV news producer, an audiovisual production manager and media officer for a Fortune 500 oil and gas company, and a press officer/science writer for the National Cancer Institute. He also penned the popular "Answer Line" question-and-answer column for the Journal newspapers in the Greater Washington, D.C., area from 1990 until 2006.

Michael holds bachelor’s degrees in microbiology from Clemson University and communications from the University of Houston, and he completed one year toward a Ph.D. in virology at Baylor College of Medicine. He is a member of the D.C. Science Writers Association (for which he serves on the board of directors) and the National Association of Science Writers (for which he was co-chair of the Public Information Officers Committee for nine years and currently is a member of the Programs Committee that plans the annual NASW national meeting). In 2013, NASW honored Michael with the Diane McGurgan Award, the organization’s highest recognition for dedication and volunteer service.

Beats Covered

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pathology
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Surgery
  • Urology
headshot of Kim Polyniak

Kim Polyniak, M.A.

office: 443-287-8589
cell: 443-510-5807

Kim Polyniak, M.A., serves as a communications manager with the Johns Hopkins Medicine public relations, media relations and corporate communications team. In this role, she spends her time managing communications projects and media relations activities for Johns Hopkins Children's Center, the Department of Emergency Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR).

Throughout her career, Polyniak has held a wide range of positions in the communications industry in Maryland. Her professional experience began at WBFF-TV Fox45 in Baltimore, where she served in different producing roles. She also held positions at Maryland Public Television, in marketing and communications at a local Baltimore hospital and as a freelance writer. Polyniak has written for various formats, including television news, print publications, the Internet and social media.

Polyniak earned an M.A. in writing from The Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in mass communication from Towson University.

Beats Covered

  • Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Pediatrics/Children's Center
Kaitlyn Roman

Kaitlyn Roman

office: 443-287-8560
cell: 440-465-3645

In her role as a communications specialist, Kaitlyn Roman assists with internal communications and media outreach for Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Before joining the team, Kaitlyn worked as an associate producer at the CBS News bureau in Washington, D.C. There, she produced daily stories for the national morning show CBS Mornings. During her time at CBS News, Kaitlyn helped cover a wide range of events, including elections, impeachments, Supreme Court nominations and other daily breaking news stories in the nation's capital. Before CBS News, she worked as a production assistant at PBS Washington Week. Kaitlyn graduated from Ohio University with a degree in journalism.

Beats Covered

  • Pediatrics/Children's Center

Amy Shaw

office: 301-896-2598

Amy Shaw is director of strategic communications and public relations for Suburban Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. In this role, she leads external and internal communications, crisis communications, and other priority initiatives. She also develops and implements multi-channel public relations strategies to promote key service lines and build organizational and executive thought leadership. She oversees the social media strategy for the National Capital Region.

Prior to joining Suburban Hospital, Amy led integrated strategic communications for nonprofit health care and scientific organizations, most recently the National Quality Forum and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. She has a master's degree in strategic public relations from The George Washington University and a bachelor's degree in English and French from Bucknell University. She also earned a graduate certificate in nonprofit management and leadership from Georgetown University.

Beats Covered

  • Suburban Hospital
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital
Sharon Sopp

Sharon Sopp

Assistant Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications
office: 410-740-7646
Sharon has been communicating about the services, programs and initiatives of Howard County General Hospital since 2001. In her current role as assistant director of public relations and internal communications, she works with leaders throughout the organization, counseling on communication goals, strategies and techniques for a variety of internal and external campaigns. She works with media to facilitate coverage of the hospital's services and programs and responds to media requests for experts and/or information.

As the hospital's public information officer, Sharon works closely with the Emergency Management director to provide communications and support during crises and special operations. Sharon has received training at the FEMA Center for Emergency Preparedness.
Before joining Howard County General Hospital, Sharon worked for a Baltimore-area hospital as media coordinator. Before that, she served as a producer at WBFF-TV Fox45 in Baltimore and a producer/reporter for Howard County government television and a national news bureau in Washington, D.C.

She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Beats Covered

  • Howard County General Hospital
Liz Vandendriessche

Liz Vandendriessche

Assistant Director of Media Relations, Public Relations and Corporate Communications
office: 410-502-9424
cell: 443-223-3378

As assistant director of public relations, media relations, and corporate communications for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Liz Vandendriessche leads proactive and reactive media and brand strategies, issue and crisis communications as well as high-priority corporate communication campaigns.

Before her role at Johns Hopkins, Liz served as a leader in brand reputation management and systemwide communications at Sentara Healthcare, Virginia's largest not-for-profit healthcare system. In that role, she drove comprehensive and integrated initiatives for all internal, external, executive and crisis communications across the system. Before that, Liz spent nearly 10 years leading strategic communications and marketing efforts for Fortune 500 technology, government and healthcare clients as well as federal government agencies at a leading marketing and communications agency in Alexandra, Va.

Liz holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications, with a concentration in business administration, from the George Washington University as well as a master of business administration degree from Regent University. She also is a member of the Lambda Pi Eta National Communication Association.

Beats Covered

  • Government Affairs
  • Health Care Policy
  • Legacy of Henrietta Lacks
Haley Wasserman

Haley Wasserman

office: 410-955-6681

Haley Wasserman joined the public relations, media relations and corporate communications team in December 2021 as a communications specialist. In her role, she helps with the team’s internal and external communications operations by assisting in the distribution and monitoring of press releases, fielding media requests, as well as tracking and reporting media placements.

Haley also develops written communications to promote specific research areas at Johns Hopkins and advance overall institutional awareness.
Previously, Haley worked as a science writing intern with the team, where she assisted in coverage of the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. She produced press releases and feature stories for the Fundamentals e-newsletter and also created content for Fundamentals social media channels. Prior to this role, Haley served as an English educator, researcher and assistant administrator at her alma mater, Marquette University.

She graduated from Marquette in May 2020, where she received a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences with a secondary major in English. Haley is currently finalizing a master’s of science writing degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Beats Covered

  • A Woman's Journey
  • Allergy/Asthma
  • Awards and Announcements
  • Pulmonary
  • Radiology
  • Rheumatology
headshot of Vanessa Wasta

Vanessa Wasta, M.B.A.

office: 410-955-8236
cell: 410-858-6986

Vanessa Wasta has spent more than 20 years in science and medical communications. She manages communications for basic science research at Johns Hopkins Medicine, spanning three institutes and more than 250 faculty.

Her team oversees media relations, digital publications and social media channels relating to basic science research. She holds a bachelor of science degree in biology and a master's degree in business administration. Previously, she managed media relations and web projects at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, covering laboratory and clinical research news, as well as social media. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and an emeritus member and former chair of the Public Affairs and Marketing Network of the nation's top cancer centers.

Beats Covered

  • Anatomy
  • Basic Science Research
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biophysics
  • Cell Biology
  • Evolution
  • Genetics
  • History of Medicine
  • Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences
  • Institute for Cell Engineering
  • Institute of Genetic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurosciences
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Research
  • Stem Cell Research
  • Veterinary Medicine